Survery reveals that among 3,428 people in the city, 78.6 per cent of them feel that price of cylinders have been fluctuating after 2014.
Even though the central government announced subsidies and benefits to encourage usage of LPG for cooking in 1980, it was not able to penetrate the villages and even small towns due to wide fear of explosion resulting in protracted hardships faced by many people.
In Tamil Nadu, former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi distributed free gas stoves to the poor people in the state in 2016. The scheme fructified and increased the LPG usage for cooking in Tamil Nadu villages.
Taking cognisance of hardships faced by homemakers and respiratory ailments due to smoke from conventional wood stoves, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated Ujjwala scheme on May 1, 2016, to issue free LPG connections. Simultaneously, the government had increased the allotment of LPG cylinders to the families up to 12 cylinders per year. Earlier, one had to pay a deposit of Rs 1,600 (Rs 1,450 for the cylinder and Rs 150 for the regulator), which forced poor and underprivileged people to avoid getting LPG connection.
The government, under the scheme, envisaged providing free gas connections to eight crore households in the country. Till recently, the government had provided gas connections to 6,40,13,531 houses in 715 districts.
Earlier, the families that could not afford LPG cylinders were using kerosene distributed at ration shops.
The government’s move of depositing LPG subsidy to the consumers’ bank account numbers and linking Aadhaar to the account number has resulted in disconnecting nearly one crore fake LPG connections across the country.
Under the Ujjwala scheme, the oil companies would provide cylinders worth Rs 1,000, as the government gives subsidy to the cost of the cylinders. Promoting clean fuel and better living standards, the Ujjwala scheme has become the companion of homemakers. Ujjwala has made LPG stoves, once a luxury, into a common household item in the homes of the poor.